In many sunflower-growing regions of the world, Sclerotinia sclerotiorum (Lib.) de Bary is the major disease of sunflower (Helianthus annuus L.). In this study, we mapped and characterized quantitative trait loci (QTL) involved in resistance to S. sclerotiorum midstalk rot and two morphological traits. A total of 351 F3 families developed from a cross between a resistant inbred line from the germplasm pool NDBLOS and the susceptible line CM625 were assayed for their parental F2 genotype at 117 codominant simple sequence repeat markers. Disease resistance of the F3 families was screened under artificial infection in field experiments across two sowing times in 1999. For the three resistance traits (leaf lesion, stem lesion, and speed of fungal growth) and the two morphological traits, genotypic variances were highly significant. Heritabilities were moderate to high (h2=0.55-0.89). Genotypic correlations between resistance traits were highly significant (P<0.01) but moderate. QTL were detected for all three resistance traits, but estimated effects at most QTL were small. Simultaneously, they explained between 24.4% and 33.7% of the genotypic variance for resistance against S. sclerotiorum. Five of the 15 genomic regions carrying a QTL for either of the three resistance traits also carried a QTL for one of the two morphological traits. The prospects of marker-assisted selection (MAS) for resistance to S. sclerotiorum are limited due to the complex genetic architecture of the trait. MAS can be superior to classical phenotypic selection only with low marker costs and fast selection cycles.